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Doctor Who – An Exciting Joyride Through Time And Space With Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor

By DRWHO42

The new season of Doctor Who has kicked off with a double-bill of adventures offering a mixture of feel-good moments, delights, laughs, and frights. Although Ncuti Gatwa’s debut was several months ago in the third 60th Anniversary Special followed by the Christmas special, I wanted to reserve my judgment of this new era of the series a few more episodes were in the books. I will not delve into details of the two episodes to avoid giving any spoilers but I think this new era will be appealing to Whovians, sci-fi fans, and new fans. Gatwa brings a whole new vibe to the persona of The Doctor with a flare of excitement and joy. 

First things first, I did notice the title sequence was modified a little and I am happy it was not changed in its entirety because I enjoy seeing The TARDIS surf the vortex like a surfer with Murray Gold’s upbeat theme hyping the excitement of what is yet to come. For those who did not watch The Devil’s Chord, there is an extra special treat leading up to the opening titles to watch out for. 

As a lifelong Whovian, I am accustomed to change and evolution especially when a new actor takes on the titular role of the time-traveling Timelord. I still have a little nervousness and apprehension about the “new” person entering The TARDIS, however, after watching Space Babies and The Devil’s Chord I think Ncuti Gatwa and Mille Gibson are well suited as Team TARDIS. 

Gatwa’s incarnation of The Doctor is not too serious and has a keen interest in wandering without being encumbered by having an objective or mission.  The chemistry between The Doctor and Ruby is perfect. The Doctor seems drawn to Ruby because she is a kindred spirit since they are both orphans. Emotionally, The Doctor does not appear to be lonely, however, fans of the series as familiar that the timelord does keep things extremely close to the chest and does a great job deflecting as a way to remain mysterious. Ruby is a resilient and caring person who is loyal to her family, friends, and anyone in need. While some things she encounters during her early adventure may give her pause she does not shy away to help someone in need.   

As with many heroes, The Doctor exudes confidence but this incarnation surprisingly displayed a fearful reaction on a couple of occasions – even running away in one instance. I found this aspect adds an interesting dimension to the character. The fact that The Doctor can be defeated gives more authenticity to suspenseful moments in the series. In addition, being vulnerable does not diminish the character of The Doctor in the slightest because it shows the audience how much he has to overcome in order to solve the problem at hand or defeat his enemy. 

The first two episodes were quite interesting and involved an encounter with a group of babies stranded on an orbiting space station followed by a trip back in time to see the legendary band, The Beatles. The stories were original and not a rehash of past stories. They also offered a few lighter moments and In a series like Doctor Who, humor can be hit or miss. I found both episodes had the right balance and nothing felt forced or out of place. 

The highlight of the season premiere aside from The Doctor and Rudy was the villain in The Devil’s Chord, The Maestro (played brilliantly by Jinkx Monsoon). The devilish delight and the occasional outburst from The Maestro reminded me of Pennywise at times. Monsoon made the role a delight to watch and memorable. My only complaint was that The Devil’s Chord should have been made a two-part story and used a cliffhanger to help drive the suspense factor while making us wait a whole week before we learn how things turn out. 

Based on the season premiere there is a lot to look forward to with Ncuti Gatwa and Mille Gibson taking viewers on the joyride of a lifetime through time and space. 

DRWHO42

Kevin aka "DRWHO42" watches a lot of TV and avoids spoilers like the plague. He is an avid Whovian, Trekker, fanboy, gamer, traveler, planner, self-professed gym rat, and Starbucks espresso loyalist. When not plotting out his schedule for the next tent-pole movie or watching his favorite shows he is on the hunt for pop-culture TV & Movie media news. More importantly he is a frequent attendee of San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) and New York Comic Con (NYCC). Follow him on Twitter @kevinDW42 @FoCCBlog